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Al Trost's Day Off

South High teacher Al Trost is one of just 11 former U.S. soccer players who will be recognized as among the best this December.

As a dedicated social studies teacher at Parkway South High, Al Trost rarely asks for a day off, but you will forgive him if he asks for a few days this December to travel to Texas.  That’s where he’ll be recognized as one of the best 11 soccer players in the first 50 years of NCAA Division I soccer.

The honor is the latest of many for Trost, the legendary midfielder who led the St. Louis Billikens to victory in 1969 and 1970.  Two years later, he played for the U.S. Olympic soccer team in Munich, and still later, as a part of the U.S. World Cup team. In 2006, Trost was named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and this year, he was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Today, as a teacher and coach, Trost says he uses soccer as a developmental tool – to help children succeed.  He especially loves coaching kindergarten students.  "Their faces light up when they do something right.  They have fun all the time."

Kindergartners have taught Trost to become a more patient coach and teacher.  "I like to watch children develop over the long haul.  "I have found my niche in the ninth-grade classroom,” he adds.  “I help freshmen get started on the right path and then watch them progress throughout high school. It's very gratifying."

Soccer is equally gratifying, says Trost, who got hooked on the game as a kid.  "It's a great way for the average person to compete.  You don't have to be the strongest, the biggest or the tallest to succeed."